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TSA and L.A. Metro partner to provide advanced passenger screening system for L.A. County’s transit system

L.A. Metro is the first surface transportation agency in the nation to purchase passive millimeter wave screening technology

Local Press Release
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

LOS ANGELES – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has partnered with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to deploy a new advanced portable passenger screening technology that will help detect weapon and explosive device security threats on the county’s transit system.

Metro is the first surface transportation agency in the nation to purchase such an advanced, high-tech security device to help keep transit riders safe from person-borne improvised explosive devices or other weapons that are intended to cause mass casualties.

Following a series of tests over the last year of TSA-vetted and approved security technologies at its stations, Metro has now purchased several Thruvision TAC-TS4 portable terahertz millimeter wave passenger screening devices. The units can be placed at locations throughout the Metro system and are equipped with software that quickly and unobtrusively screens individuals for concealed threats. The units can identify both metallic and non-metallic objects.

The devices identify objects that block the naturally occurring waves produced by a person’s body. When an object is hidden in clothing or strapped to a person, these waves are blocked and detected by the system’s software. The software generates generic avatars and creates either a black spot on the area of the body where the item is concealed or overlays a color indicator. The technology does not emit radiation of any kind and no anatomical details are displayed. The device allows law enforcement agents and Metro Security to screen rail and bus patrons without disrupting foot traffic and to take decisive, pre-emptive action if suspicious items are found. 

TSA Administrator David Pekoske joined with local Metro officials today to view the systems’ capabilities at Los Angeles Union Station.

“TSA applauds the leadership of L.A. Metro for its proactive efforts to evaluate, procure and use state-of-the-art technology designed to detect potential threats to the transit system,” said TSA Administrator Pekoske. “TSA is pleased to have been a partner during the evaluation and testing process, which ultimately led to the purchase of a recommended system to help detect and deter potential acts of terrorism while keeping the traveling public safe.”

The Thruvision technology was tested extensively by TSA. Metro tested the technology at its 7th Street/Metro Center Station over the last year.

“Metro has been an industry leader in testing new technologies to meet evolving threats to our public transportation infrastructure,” said Sheila Kuehl, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “This new technology will augment our already aggressive safety and security measures and help us proactively deter potential attacks to our system.”

Visit the Metro website for additional information about Metro’s Safety and Security Program

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About TSA
The Transportation Security Administration was created to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems and ensure the freedom of movement for people and commerce. TSA uses a risk-based strategy and works closely with the transportation, law enforcement and intelligence community to set the standard for excellence in transportation security. For more information about TSA, please visit our website at tsa.gov.

About L.A. Metro
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro, twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.